Did Bryce Harper see reason, or has he misplaced his magic necklace? With an update on the DiSars!
These are simply three unrelated items that should be in the public record somewhere.
1. Monday, I wrote about Bryce Harper’s toughest at-bats. One was against Kenley Jansen, in late April, and another was against Jonny Venters, in late May. In the first one, Bryce Harper was wearing a Phiten magic necklace, and in the second one he was not. Somewhere between late April and late May, Bryce Harper either realized magic necklaces aren’t real, or he decided that they are real but they don’t work on his particular body chemistry, or he lost his. Magic necklaces obviously are real, and they obviously do work, no duh, or else why would all these athletes (and bat boys, and managers, and fans) wear them? I know what you’re probably going to say, but let me reiterate: Uh no duh.
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The Cubs face off against the Royals, with developments big and small.
As I noted yesterday, spring training is an exercise with its own echoes, whether as a matter of careers, characters, or ballclubs. Arriving at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa provided me with ample opportunity to ponder the present and future as well as the past, because the Royals and Cubs gave us something to see, even in the course of what might get demeaned as “just” a 13-4 blowout.
What game, exactly, did Ferris Bueller and friends attend on his famous "day off"? Who hit the foul ball that Ferris caught?
On his day off, Ferris Bueller had quite the adventure. From "borrowing" the 1961 Ferrari 250GT of his best friend's unforgiving father to visiting both the Sears Tower and the Art Institute and finally to singing "Danke Schön" and "Twist and Shout" in front of thousands of Chicagoans, it's fair to say that no one ever had a day off quite like it.
On Ferris's agenda that afternoon was, naturally, a trip to Wrigley Field. After grabbing a bite to eat (as "Abe Froman, Sausage King of Chicago") at a snooty Magnificent Mile restaurant, Ferris and pals headed to the stadium to catch a ballgame.
The past might be a foreign country, but at the moment, where 756 is concerned, we're still well within its borders. What does the gang think of Barry Bonds' achievement?
Maury Brown: There ought to be one word that comes to mind when taking in Bonds' place as the all-time home run king. Maybe that word is 'confused.' Or cloudy, muddy, murky... take your pick. In the history of sports, I don't think anyone has ever faced the dilemma of asking whether or not a record was legitimately set or not. Barry Bonds has forced us to look at that issue with arguably the most revered and sacred of records in baseball. After all, the record has been achieved, and controversy be damned, he hasn't failed a drug test, nor has he been indicted by the Feds, nor has some mountain of evidence landed in George Mitchell's lap that makes one think that Bonds is going to be the focus of his soon-to-be published report.
I'll miss Bobby Valentine, if only because Tony LaRussa isn't as easy to pick on. LaRussa has a respect for the game and for his players, and while I often disagree with his tactics, I can respect his accomplishments and ability.
The question going into this season is, does removing a Bobby V-shaped tumor from the Mets, and plugging in Howe's soothing salve fix things? Does adding two big signings--both with some questions--push the big-money Mets back into contention? A team with the cash the Mets have should never have an organizational depth problem if they do the necessary due diligence. At the very least, they should fill Norfolk with Quadruple-A players while they're developing young prospects. Yet somehow, the Mets have found ways to spend money without making themselves appreciably better.